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Andrew Scourfield

Specialty Registrar in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and General Internal Medicine at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Why did you train in clinical pharmacology?

Drugs and therapeutics have played a huge role in improving outcomes for patients. My own interest started when I undertook an intercalated BSc in pharmacology during my medical training. After I completed foundation training, I tried my hand at several medical specialties, before realising it was the medicines rather than organ-based disease I found most interesting. Many people think clinical pharmacology is an academic speciality, and whilst there are fantastic research opportunities, I am very much interested in how we can use medicines more safely, efficiently and effectively for NHS patients.

What is a typical week for you?

All clinical pharmacologists will tell you there is no such thing as a typical week, and whilst this makes the role incredibly interesting and varied, it does make it difficult to explain. Some of my recent activities include: prescribing education for medical students and foundation trainees, policy work related to medicines management and pharmacogenomics, running early phase clinical trials, managing patients with overdose and poisoning with the clinical toxicology team, acute medical on-calls and medical outpatient clinics. I have just started a part-time masters degree in genomic medicine to run alongside my clinical training, building on my interest in pharmacogenomics and personalised medicine.

What’s the best thing about training in clinical pharmacology? 

Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics offers flexibility in training with many exciting opportunities related to all aspects of medicine management. The specialty requires a mature, self-directed approach to learning but the reward is a varied and interesting career, important to reduce risk of burnout, clinical pharmacology has one of the lowest for medical specialties. During my training I have had the opportunity to meet many inspirational leaders from across the UK and am so pleased I joined the Clinical Pharmacology family.